Springfield begins search for next fire chief

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Brian Miller will retire after 31 years in department.

Springfield’s fire chief will be retiring this summer, and the city began its search for his replacement this week.

Springfield Fire and Rescue Division Chief Brian Miller confirmed on Wednesday that he will be retiring before July 19 this year. He said his decision was influenced by his deferred retirement option plan.

Miller’s retirement was publicly announced by the city in a brochure linked to a recruitment posting for his role.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Springfield’s fire chief took on his role in 2017 and has served in the fire division for more than 31 years.

Springfield Fire and Rescue Division consists of more than 130 sworn personnel members, according to the city’s job posting.

The salary range for the fire chief position was listed as $118,810 to $151,736, including a high fringe benefit offering and a 24% employer contribution to the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, according to the job posting.

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The city will be working with Westerville-based firm The Management Advisory Group to accept applications from interested candidates.

The Management Advisory group worked with the Springfield City Commission, the city manager’s executive leadership team, a local union and other community leaders to identify the challenges Springfield’s next fire chief may face.

These include recruitment and retention, staff development, labor relations, turnover in the fire marshal and inspection bureau and community relations.

Another challenge interests groups identified to the firm include the construction of four fire stations in the city.

Springfield city officials announced in November plans for four new fire stations to roll out in the coming years, with ground already being broken for the Station #2 project on South Limestone Street.

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Additional new stations are planned for the intersection of Kenton and Burt Streets, on Route 41 and on Zischler Street. Planning for how the space in those new buildings will be used will begin this year with construction completion anticipated for by the end of 2024.

“The new chief will play a lead role in socializing these changes within the community, coordinating construction with appropriate city staff and collaborating entities (with Clark State College), and ensuring timely transition and operational startup of the new stations,” according to the job posting.

Miller voiced some sadness over not overseeing the fire stations project to its completion as the city’s fire chief, but said he believes the next chief and others at the fire division will see the project through efficiently.

“I have confidence that whoever leads the division next will bring it forward,” Miller said. “The fire division has a long history that started before Chief Miller and will go on long after Chief Miller.”

Management Advisory Group is asking that applications for the chief position be submitted by April 10.

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